Los Angeles Clippers Stat Monkey Brief: Bulls and Bobcats (12/11-12/12)
Lob City Highlight of the Day
When the highlights for the game include 20-foot jumpers and hook shots from Griffin, one starts thinking it is going to be difficult to find a highlight worthy of this column… but then you remember this gem:
If you felt a slight déjà vu watching the Sunday’s game, it's because it was exactly like the Phoenix game. The Raptors hung around all game, had a three point lead at the half and were only down four going into the 4th. Then in the 4th quarter the Clippers played great team defense (held the Raptors to 15% shooting) and their bench took over; Eric Bledsoe contributed 9 of his 14 points in the 4th.
Last article I asked the question: how does a 7 foot center (Andrea Bargnani) only grab 4.5 rebounds a game? Well watching this game I got my answer, he barely goes inside the paint. In short the Clippers extended their win streak to six. During which they have scored over 100 points in every single game and are winning by an average of 16.8 points.
Next Two Games
Tonight, the Clippers kick off a four game road trip against the 11-8 Bulls, who they already beat once this season by 21 points. Statistically the Bulls' defense has improved since last time and now ranks third, up from seventh. The Clippers, however, have been slowed down only slightly by teams that rank in the top five in defensive efficiency and are averaging 100 points against them, down just 2.3 points from their season average. Since the Bulls still don’t have Rose, I don’t expect this game playing out any differently from the first one.
Tomorrow night, the Clippers continue their road trip against the 7-13 (maybe… probably… most likely 7-14) Bobcats. While the Bobcats already matched their win total from last season and were looking like the most improved team through the first 12 games, they have recently been in a downward spiral with eight (most likely nine) straight losses. This could be a potential trap game, however, for the Clippers. Since the Clippers are playing four road games in six nights, just played the always physical Bulls, and traveled 770 miles to Charlotte by the time this one tips, Del Negro could use this game to rest his starters.
On the other hand, this could serve as a great opportunity to watch the Clippers second unit, which has been electric so far this season. And since the Bobcats are ranked 24th and 27th in offensive and defensive efficiency, respectively, it is hard to imagine the Clippers losing this even with the second unit out there. So my expectations is this road trip will go a lot better than their last one during which they went 1-3, and the Clippers could be on an eight game win streak come Saturday’s game in Milwaukee.
As always, for all your gambling needs check out our official NBA predictions.